Defence and security company Saab has a signed a contract to provide its TactiCall integrated communication system for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s (RNZN’s) future fleet replenishment vessel, Aotearoa , according to a 2 October statement by the company.
In-service support for the system, which interconnects communication technologies regardless of radio band, frequency or hardware, will be provided by Electronic Navigation Ltd (ENL) as Saab’s partner in New Zealand, the company added.
South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) will begin constructing Aotearoa next year under a NZD493 million (USD342 million) contract, with delivery expected to take place in January 2020.
Named after the Maori word for New Zealand, the 24,000-tonne tanker is set to replace the replenishment ship HMNZS Endeavour , which has been in service since April 1988 and is scheduled for decommissioning next year.
Once in service, the 166 m-long Aotearoa will become the largest ship ever operated by the RNZN. The tanker will have twice the displacement of Endeavour and carry 30% more fuel.
It will be able to refuel two ships at the same time while underway, carry and refuel New Zealand Defence Force helicopters, produce and store water, and transport equipment and ammunition.
The design of the ship incorporates a new wave-piercing hull, which reduces resistance and lowers fuel use, while its combined diesel electric and diesel propulsion plant has lower fuel emissions than older vessels.
The design and capabilities of Aotearoa were announced by the Ministry of Defence in Wellington in July 2016.
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